Lola Bessis, Ruby Rees, Anna McGahan, Lily Sullivan, Samara Weaving and Madeleine Madden behind the scenes of Picnic At Hanging Rock.

Picture: @lily_sullivan/Instagram
Lola Bessis, Ruby Rees, Anna McGahan, Lily Sullivan, Samara Weaving and Madeleine Madden behind the scenes of Picnic At Hanging Rock. Picture: @lily_sullivan/Instagram

Picnic at Hanging Rock wows in ratings start

PICNIC at Hanging Rock has made a solid start in the ratings, debuting as the number one non-sport program for Foxtel on Sunday night.

The subscription channel averaged 122,000 viewers - putting it in the ballpark of some of its biggest international drama launches, which have included Top Of The Lake (130,000 people), Big Little Lies (133,000) and the global sensation, Westworld (141,000).

The initial figures don't take into account the streaming audience, with those numbers expected next week - when Foxtel can assess the impact of their decision to drop all six episodes for their binge-hungry viewers.

It was a blockbuster night for TV fans, with the finale of Seven's My Kitchen Rules and knockout rounds on Nine's The Voice both drawing huge audience numbers.

Peace out ... Natalie Dormer, Ruby Rees and Lola Bessis behind the scenes of Picnic at Hanging Rock. Picture: @rubes_rees/Instagram
Peace out ... Natalie Dormer, Ruby Rees and Lola Bessis behind the scenes of Picnic at Hanging Rock. Picture: @rubes_rees/Instagram

Meanwhile, the cast of the epic production took to social media to celebrate the launch and share joyous images from behind the scenes and on location in the Macedon Ranges.

Actor Anna McGahan, who played geography teacher Miss Greta McGraw, told her Instagram followers the series would "only get weirder and more wonderful" beyond the first episode; praising her co-stars for their "staggering" performances.

Lily Sullivan filming on location in the Macedon Ranges for Foxtel drama, Picnic at Hanging Rock. Picture: @lily_sullivan/Instagram
Lily Sullivan filming on location in the Macedon Ranges for Foxtel drama, Picnic at Hanging Rock. Picture: @lily_sullivan/Instagram

Lily Sullivan, the remake's new Miranda Reid, told her social media fans the experience was "a time I will never forget."

"I fell in love with everyone involved. We worked so hard, played hard, gastrod (sic) hard and kept each other upright."

Thanking director Larysa Kondracki and Fremantle Media Australia's head of drama and the show's executive producer, Jo Porter "for being our guides," Sullivan said: "I have a new love for this industry and what you can create when you don't let fear win and the child in."

 

Where’s Miranda ... young women pose during a Picnic at Hanging Rock flash mob in Martin Place. Picture: Jeremy Piper
Where’s Miranda ... young women pose during a Picnic at Hanging Rock flash mob in Martin Place. Picture: Jeremy Piper

 

Fan responses were also largely positive, with one viewer describing it as "a disorientating, disturbing and twisted take on Joan Lindsay's classic [1967 novel]."

Writer Cameron Farnham pleaded with loyalists of Peter Weir's 1975 feature film: "please understand as great as the film is, this TV adaptation isn't trying to be that, it is its own thing. It's fresh, contemporary and inviting."

Commuters in Sydney were also entertained by a series of flash mobs this morning, with young women dressed as Picnic school girls posing around Martin Plaza and Circular Quay, as well as amusing passengers aboard trains travelling around the city circle.

The full series can be streamed now on Foxtel Now and Foxtel On Demand.


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